Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Chinese 'wifi stealing' app Skeleton Key has 270m monthly active users

"Wifi Skeleton Key, an app for quickly connecting to wifi hotspots without a password or sign-in, has raised US$52 million in series A funding, according to QQ Tech. The investment came from Haitong Securities, Northern Light Venture Capital, and others. QQ Tech’s sources say the company gave up 5.2 percent equity in return, which, if true, puts the company’s valuation at around US$1 billion.
Wifi Skeleton Key (named WiFi万能钥匙 in Chinese) allows users to establish a connection to millions of hotspots across China without the need for credentials. It works very similar to Wifi Companion, a likeminded app that raised US$9.75 million in series A funding in December. All ChinaNet hotspots, of which there are 8 million littered throughout the country, are available to Wifi Skeleton Key users. Those hotspots are run by China Mobile, the world’s largest telecoms operator.
The app also crowdsources login credentials, so when one user logs into a hotspot, his or her credentials are added to the database so that everyone else on the app can also use that hotspot. Users cannot actually view these credentials so as to protect user data.
Wifi Skeleton Key boasts 270 million monthly active users, making it one of the most popular apps in the country. The company claims that makes it the third most popular app in China after Tencent’s duo, WeChat and QQ Messenger."

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